Re: savage vs remington
Bubb, out of the box, I would look at the new Savages with the Accutrigger. If they make one in the laminated prone stock and fluted heavy 26" barrel, that would be the one I would go for. For calibre, either the 308 or 300Win mag will work. Both effective a lot further then a novice should be shooting at game anyways. The 308 will have less recoil and a little cheaper to shoot. the Win mag will have more LR potential.
If you want to make a custom job, then get an Enfield P14 action that has been sporterized (under $100) and spin on a long barrel with the specs to your liking. Boyd make the lam stock for under $100 so you can build your own rig for around $500 to $700 bucks.
The Bushnell Elite 10X is an excellent entry level scope (under $200) with plenty of elevation and good optics. All that I have talked to have said their scopes worked very consistently and repeatably. Add some Burris Sig rings with inserts and you can have a LR rig for under $1000 that can go up against most custom rigs.
The Enfield action is very strong and every bit as "accurate" as a commercial action. The stock trigger can be easily worked to 2lbs and Gunparts corp sells speedlock/cock on opening setups for about $25.
If you go the custom route, spend your money on good quality installation. The best barrel in the world is only as good as the install. A tight necked chamber can help but more importantly, make sure the throat is setup for your bullet - the gunsmith will understand.
The rest is up to you and the amount of practising you want to do. Support optics is also going to be a necessary expense. Get a Leica rangefinder and make up a drop table.
Burn lots of powder...
Look in the archives for my posts on the 300Wby I built a couple of years ago. Also just built one in a 300RUM. The enfield actions work and are cheap like rice...